Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the favorite festivals in maharashtra. Usually it is celebrated for 10 days. But now it also has flavors like 1 and half day, 3 days, 5 days, 7 days. This I came to know only after coming to Mumbai, coz earlier it always was 10 days at my native. There would be a Ganesha idol brought to home and the house decorated beautifully. My father loved making handmade lantern and decorating the place where Ganapati would be worshiped for those ten days. We kids enjoyed helping him J
The Ganesha idol is worshiped every morning and evening. The worship involves various offerings to the idol including flowers and durva. Ganesha is offered an offerings of 21 modaks, modak being his favorite! Aarti song is sung by all praising the lord and asking for his blessings. On the last day, the idol is taken in a procession to a large body of water such as a lake, river or the sea for immersion.
There is usually a common big celebration in most societies. A big pandal or shamiana is erected and a huge Ganesha idol is brought. Various activities, like fun fare (aanand mela), competition for kids and adults, common feasts etc are organized in the society to celebrate Ganesh fest. This gives the society a common purpose and fosters unity.
Usually we make the fried Modaks for Ganesh chaturthi. You can check it here. http://lav-art-craft-food.blogspot.in/2012/10/modak-for-anant-chaturdashi.html?m=1 However MIL made different modaks this time. They are called ukadiche modak, meaning steamed modak. We loved the variation! And it’s healthy too..since it has the goodness of jaggery (rich in iron), coconut and there is zero oil in it ! Forgot to mention..no maida or plain flour. These are made using rice flour.
Sharing the recipe for the same. Hope you too like it.
1 cup Grated Coconut
1/2 cup Powdered Jaggery
1/4 tsp Cardamom Powder
For Outer Layer:
1 cup Rice Flour
1 cup Water or as needed
1 tsp Ghee
A pinch of salt
Combine the coconut and jaggery in a pan.Mix well and let the jaggery dissolves completely. Cook on a medium flame.
Stir continuously until you get a thick mixture. When it thickens add the cardamom powder and mix well. Remove from the flame and let it cool. Shape the mixture into round shape balls and set aside.
Add water, salt and a teaspoon of ghee in a saucepan . Bring the water to a rolling boil and turn off the flame.
Take the rice flour in a mixing bowl. Add the boiling water little by little to the flour and mix it well with a spatula.
Let it cool for 2 - 3 minutes. When it is still warm knead it well to make a soft dough. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky.
Grease your hands with some oil / ghee and divide the dough into round shape balls. Shape the dough ball into cup.
Place the coconut stuffing in the center and carefully pleat the edges.
Then gather all the pleats together in the center very carefully.
Pinch the together to seal it properly. Repeat the same procedure until all the dough finishes.
Arrange them on a steaming plates or idli plates and steam cook for 10 - 12 minutes. Your modaks are ready!